Kombucha Experiment! (Part One)

Standard
Kombucha Experiment! (Part One)

Every now and then I get a bright idea and decide to give it a go. This time it was Kombucha. Kombucha is basically a fermented fizzy drink that you brew using a SCOBY, that is drunk to improve digestive and gut health.

I want to make Kombucha but I decided I wanted to grow a SCOBY from scratch, so a bit of googling and I found a tutorial by Cotter Crunch and another by FermUp that explains how to do just that.

What you need:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar ( I used brown)
  • 1 bag black tea (any will do, as you can see I went for cheap) or 1 tbsp loose-leaf black tea.
  • 1 bottle of store bought Kombucha (preferably organic)
  • a glass container (not pictured)

DSC_0617

What I did differs a little from what is described by Cotter Crunch and FermUp but is essentially the same.

What you do:

  • Brew the kettle and add your T Bag and sugar to your mug.
  • Pour boiling water into your mug and stir in your sugar until it dissolves.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes then remove your T bag. Then let the tea cool to room temperature.
  • While it’s cooling get your glass jar and ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. Then sterilized it (ESSENTIAL) by pouring in hot water, letting it sit for a moment and pouring the water back out. This will both rinse any cleaning products out and kill any further bacteria.
  • Once your tea is cool, add it to your sterilized glass container allowing room to add your Kombucha. You will need about half Kombucha, half tea
  • Add your Kombucha ensuring any stringy sediment makes it into your glass container. Depending on the size you may not need the whole bottle. Feel free to drink the rest.
  • Put a cloth over your jar to allow it to breath but keep the nasties out and place it in a dark spot.
  • And now you wait. Try to resist peeking or moving the jar as this will disturb the SCOBY.

Some tutorials say it will take a week to start seeing some growth but I found it was more like two weeks before I noticed anything happening. The photo below was after about a week and a half.

2014-04-22 14.17.25

As you can see there isn’t a lot of action a week or so later I started noticing some lumps forming and these gradually got thicker and bigger, as below.

2014-04-26 12.19.25

 

I’m still waiting for the SCOBY to get thick and big enough to use so there will more more psot in the future. For now, I’m off to go google some recipes.:)

Here’s an update from today. Definitely developing nicely.
image

Today is feeding day!
About 4 weeks after starting the project I remembered that I have to feed the SCOBY in order to keep it growing. Oops! It had kept growing but probably not as nicely. So, today I decided to feed it. Ideally, this is done when you’re SCOBY is abut 2mm thick…
This is mine today.

image
To feed it, you basically prepare the tea solution as you did before and let it cool.

Once cool you add the tea, to top up the sugars.

There is a lot of information and misinformation about Kombucha, but I found a great link that goes through several of them by Phoenix Helix that is well worth a read.

Aussie Homesteady Spiced Cola

Standard

I admit I am a reformed slave to coca-cola but after looking up how to make it myself even I had to admit it’s chemicals in a can. Recently I stumbled across a recipe for a cola flavored by spices rather than strange numbers, and decided to give it a whirl. Success! Although not entirely like coke it’s definitely cola, kinda like a cola chuppa chup in a glass. I converted it for the Thermomix but the original stove top recipe can be found here: Little House Living

image

Need:
Grated zest of 3 large lemons
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 sections of star anise
4 tsp fresh ginger
4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp citric acid
500g white sugar
60g brown sugar
1000g water

Do:
Add zest, star anise, and ginger and hit turbo once to roughly chop.
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, lavender, vanilla, citric acid and water.
Cook for 15 min, speed 1, 100’c
Add sugars and cook fur a further 15 min on 100’c speed 1.
Bottle when hot and leave to cool.

Makes approx 1 liter of cordial.

Mix with chilled mineral water and enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry

Hide the spoons homemade Snickers recipe in the Thermomix

Standard

image

So, recently I had a cooking date with a friend where we each pick a handful of previously untried recipes and make them together. One of mine was a homemade Snickers spread. This is/was/will always be to die for!

Thus, I am adding the recipe here. Being Thermo-blessed I developed it for the Thermomix and haven’t as yet had time to convert it back. (sorry!) but with a mixer stick it shouldn’t be to hard.

And here it is:

Need:
Chocolate spread
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbls cocoa or cacao powder
Salt
1tsp vanilla
125 g dark chocolate (I recommend 70% gold – not cooking chocolate)
150g butter

Peanut butter
200g salted peanuts
2 tbls grape seed oil

Caramel
You can either cheat and use a can of sweeten condensed milk or…

1000 g milk
130g white sugar
130g brown sugar
200g cream
1/2 tsp bi carb

When we made the last batch we used Quirky Cookings coconut-based Dairy Free Dulce De Leche. It’s just what we had on hand with our experiments. If you are a big fan of Bounty Bars on toast skip the peanut butter add desiccated coconut and use this recipe. Just be prepared for some time dedication.

Do:
Chocolate spread
Place sugar in TM bowl. Pulvarise the sugar for 10 sec speed 8.
Add chocolate and blitz 10 sec on speed 8.
Add cocoa/cacao, butter, water and vanilla cook 6 minutes 50’c on speed 3 or until smooth. Place in a bowl to cool and rinse the TM bowl.

Peanut butter
Place nuts into TM bowl and blend for 20 sec on speed 7 until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add oil and mix for 10 sec on speed 6.
Scrape down the sides and continue to mix for another 10 sec on speed 6.

Caramel
Place all ingredients in the TM bowl and cook for 50 min, on varoma speed 5. Place basket on lid to prevent spitting.

Snickers spread
Carefully layer each ingredient into a jar and place in fridge to cool and set.

It should last up to a month in the fridge.

Its a pretty versatile recipe so you can swap out nuts, add crushed nuts, try white chocolate, or eat separately.

My jar has a label on the top that says “poison”. Anything to deter me from eating it with a spoon!

French Onion Dip: Aussie Homesteady style

Standard

Today I had a cooking date with a friend. We do this every now and again for a catch up and experiment. We each pick 5 or so recipes and make a batch enough for two.

Today’s highlight was a completely fattening French Onion Dip that was an adaption of one I found on Pinterest.

And here’s the recipe:

image

Need:
2 tblsp olive oil
1 Red onion
200g Greek yoghurt
300g sour cream
100g mayonnaise (either fat free or full I recommend Praise)
1tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcester sauce
1tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

Do:
Thermomix
Cut onions into quarters and dice for 5 seconds, speed 4.
Saute onions for 7 minutes, on 100’c or until browned.
Turn out onions to cool and drain on a paper towel.
Once cool, add all ingredients too bowl and mix for 30 seconds, speed 3 until combined.

Standard
Cut onions into small pieces and saute in oil until browned. Turn out onto paper towel to cool and drain. Once cool, in a bowl mix all ingredients until combined.

Enjoy!

A veggie patch almost complete and an app experiment

Standard

So I haven’t added much content using just the app on my phone. So today is a little experiment and a bit of show and tell.
This is the second to last stage of my veggie patch. We’ve prepared the soil, added the odd bits of scavenged wood planks to make retained beds and put in the September seedings/seeds.

image

image

Going back a step here we can see the stepped beds before we added pea straw.

image

image

And this is a pic of my favorite garden spot. It’s right next to the garden where I can watch the lives of all the tiny lizards in my garden.

image

So there you have it!

Participant Information Sheet

Standard

Investigation into Australian art that is conceptually linked with ecology and environmentalism

Welcome to the entry portal for the survey on Australian art that relates to ecology and environmentalism and thank you for taking the time to consider participation in this research study. On this page you will find the Participant Information Sheet which provides the broad details of the survey including the aim of the overall research, what you will be required to do and ethics statement and contacts. A Participant Information Sheet is standard for research undertaken at Australian Universities. The entry to the survey can be found at the bottom of the Participant Information Sheet.

Researcher

University of South Australia
School of Art, Architecture and Design

Project: Investigation into Australian art that is conceptually linked with ecology and environmentalism

Researcher: Jade Wildy B.VA, Ma
jade.wildy@mymail.unisa.edu.au

Supervisor: Dr Kathleen Connellan
Kathleen.Connellan@unisa.edu.au

This research is being undertaken by Jade Wildy for her PhD Candidature at the University of South Australia. Thank you for taking the time to consider participation in this research study. Participation is completely voluntary, and there are no risks associated with participation. You may leave the survey at any time without any penalty. This survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

This study focuses on the relationship between Australian art and environmentalism investigating art that responds to environmental and ecological concerns. It is being undertaken with the intention of better understanding this form of art.

This survey is intended to gather data about how the general public view this form of art and gauge how effective it may be. You will be asked to view an artwork and provide your opinions based on specific questions. You will also be asked to provide more general feedback on your opinion of this form of art, your previous experiences (if any) with it and your views on the environment.

Your participation will provide a much greater understanding of how Australian art that is underpinned by ecological or environmental concerns is viewed in this country, and you will be contributing to the knowledge and history of Australian art.

The information you provide will be kept anonymous and will be collated with the responses of others who have completed the survey. You may leave the survey and withdraw your participation at any point before submitting your responses. All information will be retained for five years and stored digitally. The researcher will take every care to remove responses from any identifying material as early as possible. Likewise individuals’ responses will be kept confidential by the researcher and not be identified in the reporting of the research. However the researcher cannot guarantee the confidentiality or anonymity of material transferred by email or the internet.

The data provided in this survey will be used to produce a doctoral thesis which, once examined and accepted will be available online for viewing. Should you wish to view the outcome of the research the link will be made available through:

www.australianhomesteading.wordpress.com
and
www.facebook.com/AustralianHomesteading

This project has been approved by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any ethical concerns about the project or questions about your rights as a participant please contact the Executive Officer of this Committee, Tel: +61 8 8302 3118; Email: vicki.allen@unisa.edu.au

Thank you once again for considering participation in my research. If you would like to participate please view the artwork below and then click the link to be redirected to the survey.

If you have any questions relating to the survey or topic, please email Jade Wildy
Email: jade.wildy@mymail.unisa.edu.au

Thank you once again for considering participation in my research.

Survey Entry

If you would like to participate please view the artwork below and then click the link below the video to be redirected to the survey.

If you agree to participate in this study, please click the arrow below.

Proceed to Survey

Think you may know someone who may be interested in completing this survey? Please feel free to share by using the sharing links below.

Milled Nut ‘Milo’

Standard

I’ve been experimenting a lot with trying to make alternative nutrient rich versions of treat foods so today I decided to trial a Milo-like drink recipe I found in my travels that incorporates a lot of nuts. (recipe below)

Honestly, I’m not that enamoured with it as a drinking ‘chocolate’ per se but it does make a pleasant sweet nut drink that would go nicely with breakfast provided you keep stirring it to prevent the ‘Milo’ from settling to the bottom. I do think it would go nicely on the top of cake like carrot or walnut, or even just added to porridge, muffins etc for a nutrient boost.

I think I will add it to my home made breakfast bars.

Recipe

You need:
3 tbls (40g) lindseed (aka flax)
2 tbls (25g) sunflower seed
2 tbls (25g) sesame seed
2 tbls (25g) pepitas (pumpkin seed)
1/3 cup (50g) almonds
1/4 cup (25g) Brazil nuts
1/4 cup (25g) pecans
1 cup (100g) raw cacao powder
1 cup (100g) rapadura or coconut palm sugar

Do:
(Thermomix)
Place all ingredients into tm bowl and mill for 10 seconds on speed 9.
Note: if you are using cacao beans mill first 10 seconds on speed 10.

(stick blender)
Place all ingredients into a high sided bowl and blend until mixture takes on a Milo-like appearance.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two months in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Preserving Leeks

Standard

image

Today I needed a quarter of a leek naturally the power of bulk buying over took me and I ended up with a bunch of them. So I decided to freeze the rest for later.

You can blanch them before freezing but I decided to try fresh freezing basically as following:

1. Cut the leeks into thin pieces.
2. Bag the pieces in freezer bags ensuring you get most of the air out.
3. Note what is in the bags and a user by date. They should last about 3 months but tend to get more bitter the older they are.

Good for ussr in soups and casseroles.